Caring for someone with dementia presents its own specific challenges, one of which is creating a safe and comfortable environment to help them feel secure. For those who are living in a care home, the bedroom is a particularly important space, as it gives individuals somewhere which is personal to them, where they can relax and unwind.
If you’re caring for someone living with dementia, there are a variety of things you can do to make their bedroom a calming, familiar and safe place to be. Read on below to find out how to create an ideal bedroom for someone living with dementia.
Choosing the right bedroom furniture is absolutely essential when creating a dementia friendly bedroom. Those living with dementia can often experience mobility problems, which can make it difficult for them to move into a sitting position, and to get into and out of bed safely. Specialist bedroom furniture for care homes makes it easier to overcome these challenges, with dementia friendly furniture products such as mattress elevators and bed wedges. This makes the practicalities of getting into and out of bed simpler for those living with dementia, as well as providing peace of mind for carers.
When choosing furniture for a dementia friendly bedroom, it’s important to consider a high level of safety. Therefore, sharp corners should be avoided wherever possible to prevent injury, and breakable objects should be used cautiously. Other examples of specially designed dementia bedroom furniture include drawers with easy to use handles and mobility riser chairs that are ideal for those with mobility needs.
An intrinsic part of preparing a care home for someone living with dementia is providing dementia friendly signage, which will help them to find things easily and to feel more comfortable in their surroundings. Specialist dementia friendly signs are designed to be bold and clear, with images as well as words to make them easier to understand. Including these signs in a bedroom could make it easier for the person to find the bathroom, as well as different types of clothing and belongings. This can help to restore a feeling of independence and confidence, which is essential to a happy living environment.
As safety is such a significant aspect of preparing a bedroom for someone living with dementia, it’s important to consider the safety procedures in place for those who are likely to wander at night. Getting up in the night is common for those living with dementia, and sometimes wandering happens due to confusion either on the way to or back from the bathroom. To ensure safety during the night, it is a common precaution to use motion sensors that are triggered when the person gets out of bed or leaves their room. This is often linked to an alarm in another room, which can alert staff that the person is out of bed, so they can help them find their way back safely.
There are other pieces of dementia friendly technology that can also be used to ensure safety, including GPS trackers that can show the location of a person at any time, in case they become lost while trying to find their way somewhere. These trackers should be used with express permission of the person living with dementia, and only in an emergency, to maintain a strong code of ethics. Other forms of technology that can be used to help those living with dementia include video calling apps and communication apps that can assist those who find it difficult to communicate their feelings and needs.
When furnishing a room for someone living with dementia, it is vital to consider how choosing the right accessories can enrich their living experience. Dementia friendly products such as brightly coloured cups with two handles, raised toilet seats and colourful handrails can make all the difference when it comes to creating a space that is both safe and welcoming.
You may like to use a memory box, personal items or photographs to personalise an individual’s room. This could help them to feel more at home and more able to identify the room as their own, as well as acting as a memory aid to remind them of loved ones and familiar places.
Other details you could consider for a dementia friendly bedroom include date and weather orientation boards to aid memory and cognitive function, sensor-activated lamps and talking clocks. As one of the first signs of dementia is difficulty telling the time, a talking clock can make things much simpler for someone living with dementia. These helpful accessories can help to provide a sense of ease and comfort, as well as a feeling of safety and familiarity.
When it comes to preparing a bedroom for someone with dementia, choosing the right decorations is essential, as it can transform their room into a truly relaxing, welcoming space. Experts recommend using contrasting colours for the walls and floor, but avoiding large patterns, in order to help with visual orientation. Wall decorations such as favourite film posters or art prints give a personalised feel and help to provide a sense of familiarity and comfort, as do photographs of family and friends. Door enhancements are also a popular choice for those living with dementia, as they can help individuals to recognise their room more easily.
We hope you’ve found this guide to preparing a dementia-friendly bedroom useful. Here at Care Shop, we provide a wide range of dementia care products, so you can find everything you need to fully support every individual in your care.